You’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. You got your new hearing aids. You’re so thrilled to be able to dive into your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing parts of conversations or going through uncomfortable transitions. But there’s an issue: everything sounds a little bit off.
The reason for this is that it will usually take some time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. This can be an annoying transition. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so long.
The good news is, there are a few tips that can help speed up the transition process. With a little practice, you can quickly get yourself to a space where you’re thinking less about your hearing aids, and paying more attention to what you’re hearing.
Tips that help you start Slowly
Your brain will take a little time to get accustomed to hearing certain sounds again regardless of how sophisticated your hearing aids are. Use these tips to start slowly and deliberately give your ears time to adapt.:
- Wear your hearing aids only around the house initially: When you’re at home, you have a lot more control over what you’re hearing, and you’ll probably experience considerably less noise pollution. This will help you focus on individual voices.
- First, try to pay attention to one-on-one conversations: You may be setting yourself up for disappointment if you use your hearing aids in a crowded setting right out of the box. It’s just that it’s tough for your ear and brain to deal with focusing on all those different voices. Staying with one-on-one conversations can help make that transition smoother (and give you a little extra practice, as well).
- Only wear your hearing aids for short periods of time to begin with: When you’re just beginning, you can practice by wearing your hearing aids for only a few hours at a time. Your hearing aids will most likely feel a little weird in your ears for a while so beginning gradually is fine. As your hearing aids become more comfortable, you can use them for longer durations.
Tips that help you get added practice in
Much like any other skill (and hearing is a skill, among other things), there are some activities that can help you practice with your hearing aids. You might even have a little fun!
- Do some listening practice: That’s right: Go someplace a little quiet and take in the sounds around you. You can practice by focusing on trying to hear the refrigerator running or the cat meowing in the other room or the birds singing outside.
- Use closed-captions when you watch TV: It’s easy: put in your hearing aids, flip on the TV, and watch your favorite program. As you read the dialog you’ll also be hearing the characters speak, and your brain will start remembering what all these words sound like. This sort of practice will help you adjust to hearing speech again.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the printed book: This comparable exercise can also be quite enjoyable. Your brain will learn to make associations between words and sounds by using this read along strategy.
Improve your hearing health with these tips
Obviously, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your hearing as healthy as possible. And there are some tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get accustomed to using your new hearing aid:
- If you’re experiencing any pain, be sure you document it and report it to us.: Your hearing aids shouldn’t be painful. So if you’re experiencing any pain or something’s not fitting right, it’s important to report it as soon as you can.
- Keep visiting us: You may not think you need to get hearing assessments anymore after you get your hearing aids. This would be a bad idea. We can continue to monitor your hearing, make certain the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. These follow up visits are really important.
Be patient, and build up to full-time hearing aids
Your objective here will be to work your way up to using your hearing aids full time. Everyone’s different but the slow and steady approach usually works best. You’ll want to get personalized advice from us on the best way for you to get accustomed to your new hearing aid.
Following these tips (and tips like them) can help ensure that you enjoy having your hearing aids and that you keep using them because they continue to enrich your life.